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V. <**»**• 


Hf Swimming in the 
Housatonic, page 6 

H> Logs to China, 
page 23 

Community News for Sheffield & Ashley Falls, MA SECOND GENERATION Vol. XI, Issue V May/June 20 1 2 


The Sheffield Farmers' Market will open 
its 12 th season on Fri., May 25, Memo- 
rial Day weekend. The Market meets 
in the parking lot next to Old Parish 
Church on the Sheffield Green. Hours 
will be 2:30 to 6:30pm every Friday 
through Labor Day. Shoppers can find 
plenty of free parking at the nearby 
Town Hall parking lot. 

The Market is emblematic of Shef- 
field's "farm friendly community." Under 
new management this year, it's looking 
forward to bringing more fresh, locally 
grown produce and meats — as well as 
an assortment of breads, baked goods, 
condiments, cheeses, flowers and artisan 
crafts — to the community. 

Since its inception in 2001, the 
Farmers' Market has been a way for con- 
sumers and growers to connect. It's an 
enjoyable meeting place to get to know 


Voters at Sheffield's annual Town 
Meeting on May 7 approved most of the 
articles that appeared on the warrant. 
One article, placed on the warrant by 
petition, was "passed over." 

Included among the articles is a revi- 
sion of the town's sign bylaws. 

The Town Election, will be held 
from 7am to 7pm on Mon., May 14 at 
the Senior Center. Several positions are 
being voted on, with one, for Library 
Trustee, contested. 

As in past years, the 2012 Sheffield Farmers' Market will meet by Old Parish Church. 

your local farmers and to learn about 
locally raised food. 

Additionally, when you shop there 
you are supporting local jobs by spending 
food dollars with local businesses. You are 
supporting a clean environment by pur- 
chasing food that has a small ecological 
footprint. You are preserving open space 
on productive land and helping ensure 
the future of our farms and farmers. 

Returning vendors include Berkshire 
Mountain Bakery (artisanal bread); 
Community Cooperative Farm (veg- 
etables, eggs); Moon in the Pond Farm 
(meat, vegetables, eggs); Howden Farm 
(corn); Bill's Busy Bees (honey); Chubby 
Bunny Farm (vegetables); and more. 

The Farmers' Market welcomes new 
vendors. If you are interested, contact 

Amelia Wolfe, the market manager, at: 
marketmanager(S)thesheffieldfarmersmar- The market also invites nonprof- 
its and civic groups to share their message 
with a free table set up at the market. 


Help the Sheffield Farmers' Market 
bring healthy food to our community. 
The Market charges vendors a partici- 
pation fee, but advertising, insurance 
and administrative expenses exceed 
the amount we can ask. Tax-deductible 
contributions can be made through 
the Sheffield Association (note "Farm- 
ers' Market" on the memo line), P.O. 
Box 1 339, Sheffield, MA 01 257. 

In this issue 

Memorial Day parades, asphalt plant 3 

Shiminski golf clubs 4 

Dewey Hall, Choral, trees, school news 5 

' Life Along the Housatonic 7 

Moira Banks-Dobson 8 

Bidwell House events 9 

Music & More events 1 

Mumbet dolls, Sheffield Fair I I 

Library News 1 2 

Church News 14 

Senior Center News 1 5 
Village Green 

Board of Selectmen minutes, bulky waste 1 6 

Document shredding 1 9 

School Committee nomination 20 

Conservation Commission, recycling 21 

Planning Board, Town Clerk, Disabilities 22 
Organizations & Businesses 

Logs to China, Land Trust 23 

Kiwanis 24 

Historical Society, Cobble, Legion 25 

Scouts 26 

Fire log & real estate transfers 26 

Calendar page 27 


in a hometown 


The Sheffield Times 

accepts advertisements from... 
Hf Sheffield businesses 
?v Sheffield residents 
h> Regional businesses 
that benefit Sheffield 

No editorial or political advertisements 

Contact Tara White 

at 229-7754 or 

for rates and information 


Community Newsletter for 
Sheffield & Ashley Falls, MA 

Editors: Kathy Orlando & Andrea Scott 

Layout: Andrea Scott 

Advertising Sales: Tara White 

Distribution: Trudy Weaver Miller 

Staff: Sandy & Dale Alden, Rae Eastman, 

Fred Gordon, Gillian Hettinger, 

Judy Schumer, Ellen Weiss, 
Barbara West, John Wightman 

Published by 

The Sheffield Association 

P.O.Box 1339 

Sheffield, MA 01257 
and on Facebook: Sheffield Times 

Working since 2001 to foster communication 

among the people, businesses and organizations 

of Sheffield and Ashley Falls. 

Photo credits: Trudy Weaver Miller, page 1, 11, 
15. Fred Harwood, 2, 7. Kathy Orlando, 3, 14, 23. 
NADF, 3. PGA Museum, 4. Gretchen Ingersoll, 5. 
Dobson Family and Jim Russell, 8, 9. Andrea Scott, 
J 3. Deb Beham, 23. Olympia Casivant, 26 

Swan nest spotted on Harmon Marsh Pond. The cygnets are to the right of the 

adult swan. Overlooking the scene: a redwing blackbird (circled). 

Thank You, Supporters! 

Your generous response helps us keep Sheffield informedl 

Laura and Greg Batch 
Berkshire Bank 
Noel Cohen 
Barbara Delmolino 
Patricia & Peter Elsbach 
Warner Friedman 
Dorothy Haller 
Amy Rudnick & Ben Hillman 
Holly Kaye 

Athena & Dick Kimball 

Edward Knapp 

Rusty &Vita Mott 

Priscilla Rueger 

Salisbury Bank 

Richard & Deborah Swiatek 

Marion Whitman 

Tom & Susan Young 

Richard Zimmerman & Elissa Williams 

If we missed thanking you here, we'll catch you in the next issue. 
If you haven't contributed lately, do it now! See page 27- 




cAp Submit articles, news items, photos or illustrations. 

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Sheffield Times 

P.O.Box 1339 

Sheffield, MA 01 257 









sVA \\wmmmmmiiiii, Ui 

issue deadline: 

June IS 





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Ashley Falls starts the day off with its Memorial Day Parade at 
8am, Mon., May 28, at the blinking light on Rt. 7A. The parade 
proceeds to the cemetery on Clayton Rd. and is held rain or shine. 
The graveside cermony will be held in the Trinity Methodist 
Church in the event of rain. Following services there, donuts and 
coffee will be served at the Trinity Methodist Church Social Hall. 

The Sheffield parade will step off at 11am from the Village 
Green and proceed north on Rt. 7 to Barnard Park. After the 
parade, Christ Church Episcopal and Trinity Lutheran Church 
invites all to free hotdogs, chili and drinks on the lawn in front of 
the parish hall. 

The Sheffield Fire Dept. marches in last year's parade. 


On April 22, some 60 residents of Shef- 
field and Canaan, CT, turned out to hear 
about the continuing efforts of Century 
Acquisitions to add a hot mix asphalt 
plant to its sand, gravel and concrete 

production is a health hazard that 
doesn't belong in the town. 

If Century is given an asphalt permit 
by the DEP and the Sheffield ZBA 
acquiesces, the company will be permit- 

operations in Sheffield on the Connecticut ted to produce over 500,000 tons of 

state line. The meeting was sponsored by 
the No Asphalt Defense Fund (NADF) 

The company is expected to re-apply 
for an asphalt permit from the Massa- 
chusetts Dept. of Environmental Protec- 
tion (DEP) sometime this summer. A 
previous application in October 2008 was 
denied last August. 

Catherine Miller, a Sheffield resident 
and one of the founders of NADF, 
explained that Century also has to 
apply to the Sheffield Zoning Board of 
Appeals for a special permit to produce 
asphalt, since the use does not currently 
conform to applicable Sheffield bylaws. 
She invited the crowd to join NADF in 
convincing ZBA members that asphalt 

The April NADF meeting filled Dewey Hall 

asphalt per year, although the company 
has indicated it would take time to reach 
this level. (The company is still waiting to 
receive a DEP air permit for its existing 
operations of sand and gravel and batch 
concrete production; a hearing on that 
permit is scheduled for July.) 

Miller stressed that NADF is not 
anti-business but pro-clean business. 
Century's track record in this regard, 
she said, has not been encouraging since 
it took over the business in 2001 and 
increased the production of sand, gravel 
and batch concrete at the site. Tests show 
that Century still remains out of compli- 
ance with Massachusetts noise regula- 
tions, and the company is being required 
by the state to restudy 
the noise problem. 

Kim Casey, who 
lives nearby in Canaan, 
described how sand 
and noise from the 
plant have plagued her 
neighborhood. She 
showed photos of the 
dust storms that occur 
whenever the wind 
blows, despite berms 
and trees planted to 
control the problem. 
Sheffield resident 
Elaine Panitz, an 
occupational and envi- 
ronmental medicine 

physician and another founder of NADF, 
described the negative impacts that the 
addition of a hot mix asphalt plant would 
bring to Sheffield, Ashley Falls, Canaan 
and Norfolk. She spoke about how 
manufacturing asphalt produces toxins 
that will rain down on the community 
from the asphalt stack. 

Panitz described how the potential 
level of asphalt production would, over 
the next 10 years, release millions of 
pounds of greenhouse gases; hundreds 
of thousands of pounds of pollutants 
hazardous enough to be monitored 
by the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Administration; thousands of pounds 
of volatile organics that include "asphalt 
smell," hundreds of pounds of benzene 
and formaldehyde, both known human 
carcinogens; and pounds of highly toxic 
heavy metals, including the carcinogens 
arsenic and cadmium. Most damaging, 
she noted, would be the release of more 
than 30,000 pounds of highly toxic fine 
particle pollution, which the EPA believes 
is the single greatest environmental 
health threat for U.S. citizens. 

In addition to their concerns about 
the plant itself, residents attending 
the meeting expressed worries about 
increased truck traffic, which itself would 
release more fine particle pollution and 
damage local infrastructure. Others wor- 
ried about the economic impact of the 
plant, that its effect on tourism and prop- 
erty values would more than outweigh 
any new jobs created (three are expected, 
according to Century's DEP application). 

One participant summed it up by say- 
ing, does Sheffield want to be known as the 
Berkshire town with the big asphalt plant? 

Community News 


Dr. Jim Shiminski is now retired after 
57 years in public education, including 
17 years as Mt. Everett High School's 
industrial arts teacher, but he's long had a 
passion for golf. In February, he received 
word from the Professional Golf Associa- 
tion that a unique set of golf clubs that 
he had a hand in designing was being 
included in the PGA Museum in Port 
St. Lucie, FL. The set of "shankless" irons 
went on display in April. 

In 1941, he was introduced to 
the game as a caddy at the Worcester 
Country Club, in Worcester, MA. Soon 
after, John Bernardi became the head 
pro there, and he picked Jim out of the 
caddy ranks to be his "shop boy." When 
he realized Jim was interested in using 
tools, Bernardi began teaching him his 
great club making skills. 

Bernardi treated Jim like a second 
son, a relationship that lasted until 
his death at age 84. Bernardi insisted 
that Jim graduate from college before 
he would recommend him to a post 
as a golf professional. Jim went off to 
Fitchburg State College, which led to a 
series of friendships instrumental in the 
shankless irons heading to the museum: 
Bernardi asked Jim to pick a caddy to 
replace himself in the pro shop. Jim 
picked Ray Lajoie, who later became the 
pro at Worcester Country Club. Lajoie 
later trained Jim Remy, who became 
president of the PGA. 

Jim kept working at the Worcester 
Country Club during the summers. 
After Jim's junior year, Bernardi 

The shankless 
irons, now in the 
PGA Museum 
in Florida, 
for which Jim 
Shiminski made 
the prototype in 
the 1950s. The 
photo is of John 
Bernardi, who 
thought up the 

recommended him to the Hilcrest 
Country Club in Leicester, MA, where 
Jim became the youngest golf profes- 
sional in New England during his last 
year of college. 

After graduation, Jim entered 
the army. After basic training he was 
selected to help re-build the officers' 
golf course at Fort Campbell, KY. In 
that role, he hosted the Kentucky Open 
Golf Championship and was decorated 
by the Secretary of the Army for meri- 
torious service. 

After the Army, Jim chose a teaching 
career over golf. One day in the 1950s, 
Bernardi called him to talk about a 
revolutionary golf club design he was 
working on. The design would eliminate 
the shank, the part next to the blade that 

connects the blade to the shaft. Hitting 
the ball near the shank results in wild 
mis -hits: "shanking the ball." 

Bernardi gave Jim a set of Pedersen 
irons and described how he wanted Jim 
to cut the iron at the neck and weld it to 
the back of the blade. Jim went back to 
his shop in Sheffield and produced the 
prototype for a patent. 

Only a very few sets were ever 
manufactured. Although the design did 
eliminate the shank, it was not an attrac- 
tive golf club and it never caught on. 
When Bernardi retired, he gave the only 
two sets remaining to Jim, who used 
them for several years before putting 
them in the back of a closet. 

Now, one of those sets is being 
preserved as part of golf history. 




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Historic Dewey Hall on the Sheffield Green hosts an array of 
events through the year and is available for rental. 

On the fourth Saturday of most months, the Hall hosts the 
Mountain Laurel Contra Dance. The last two dances of the 
season will be held May 26 and June 23 at 8:30pm. 

On the first Saturday of most months, the Hall holds a Folk 
Music Series. See the box below. On June 30, a special anniver- 
sary concert will be held at 7:30pm. 

The Sheffield Historical Society is holding its June pro- 
gram on Fri., June 8. See page 25 for more. A Summer Solstice 
Celebration will be held on Fri., June 22, at 6pm. 

In July and August, two Housatonic Valley Art League 
shows take place in the hall. 

For more information, contact Jean Emberlin at 229-7989 
or email her at 


On June 2, Michael Troy, an award-winning singer-song- 
writer, uses his deep, rich voice and his moving lyrics to tell 
stories of his life and dreams; 

The Folk Music Series will be on summer hiatus until Sept 
8, when the series returns with the Lucky Five Jazz Band, an 
ensemble of Hudson Valley- and Berkshi res-based musicians. 

Shows start at 7:30pm. Light refreshments are available. 
Suggested donation at the door is $ 1 for members, $ 1 5 for 


The Berkshire Choral Festival's 31 st season opens in Sheffield 
on Sat., July 14, at 7:30pm with a performance of Beethoven's 
Missa Solemnis. The season continues each Saturday night with 
performances of Verdi's Requiem in a multi-media production 
called The Defiant Requiem, an evening of opera acts, and works 
by Schubert (Mass in A Flat) and Haydn (Lord Nelson Mass). 

Before the Sheffield season begins, Berkshire Choral Festival 
will travel to Edinburgh, Scodand, for a nine-day session on the 
campus of the University of Edinburgh. Joseph Cullen of the 
London Symphony Chorus and Hudders- 
field Choral Society will lead choristers in 
works by Mozart and Handel. 

Following the Sheffield season, the 
festival travels to Salzburg, Austria, for a 
nine-day session conducted by Gary Thor 
Wedow. Haydn's Paukenmesse will be 
performed as part of the Sunday morning 
mass at the Salzburg Cathedral on Sept. 
16. In nearby Mondsee, works by Schu- 
bert and Brahms will be performed in the 
Mondsee Basilica on Sat., Sept. 15. 

Tickets for the Sheffield season are 
available through the box office, at 
229-1999, or online at 

— Trudy Weaver Miller 

Arbor Day in Sheffield. The Sheffield Tree Project held its 10th 
annual Arbor Day Celebration and Proclamation on April 28 at 
the American Legion Post 340 offRte 7. Volunteers, legionnaire's 
and board members planted 3 trees. Another planting event took 
place the day before at the Bushnell-Sage Library, to replace a tree 
damaged by last year's storms. The Tree Project has overseen the 
planting of over 100 trees in Sheffield and Ashley Falls , helping 
Sheffield to receive the honor of becoming a Tree City USA in 
2009 and 2010, with the 2011 renewal in progress. 


The Southern Berkshire School District now has a blog, 
InsideSBSRD Posts include news, profiles of outstanding 
students, school events and messages about school sports, 
theater, clubs and other groups. Both students and teachers 
contribute items.Alumni are invited to contribute to their 
own page. Like all blogs, comments are invited and welcome. 

The blog can be found at, or 
follow links from the district's home page at 
or the Town's website at 

Community News 


One day in early April, as I walked out of 
the Sheffield Covered Bridge toward the 
parking lot, a group of canoers was get- 
ting out of their cars. Two cars had New 
York plates, the other Massachusetts 
plates. Judging from their looks, the locals 
were the guides. The dress and speech of 
the others suggested modestly affluent 
foreign visitors. 

Heading into the bridge, one of the 
guides said/Here is our heavily polluted 
Housatonic River." 

Turning back, I offered that the river 
wasn't all that bad. "You can swim in it, 
and eat fish from it, as do the eagles and 
heron. Locals and wildlife love it." 

Before hurrying on, the guide looked 
at me, clearly bewildered. Walking home, I 
thought about his misperception that the 
river here in Sheffield was heavily polluted. 

I've lived in the valley of the Housa- 
tonic for almost 70 years. In the late 
1950s a friend and I trapped hundreds of 

muskrat from the river each season, skin- 
ning them, scraping and pegging the dry- 
ing pelts. We earned 50 cents apiece for 
the furs. None of the skins or carcasses 
showed any abnormalities from spending 
their lives in the river, and we would have 
noticed such uneconomic things. 

Before the many mills along the river 
stopped dumping chemicals and the 
towns began to treat their sewage before 
discharging it, I neither would have eaten 
the fish nor swam in the water, which was 
foamy and colorful at times. The water 
treatment plants restored normal oxygen 
levels to the waters, which soon fostered 
more and various fish and set the stage 
for the return of fish eaters and a diverse 
wildlife. PCBs, the worst of the mill 
effluent, are heavy molecules that sink in 
still water, making them more a problem 
upstream near Pittsfield than here in 

I regularly walk the easy parts of 

the river, the least likely areas to show- 
case wildlife. Even within that limited 
exploration I find an intense flux of 
life on and about the river. Over the 
past decade I have photographed bald 
eagles, osprey, great blue heron, little 
blue heron, green heron, great egret, 
hooded and common mergansers, king- 
fisher, herring gulls and otter — all fish 
eaters — as well as many eager human 
fishermen of all ages at the Covered 
Bridge and along the river. 

Local farms harvest many square 
miles of cornfields for both animal and 
human consumption from the river flood 
plain. Many communities draw drinking 
water from valley shallow and deep wells. 

In addition to plentiful bank beaver 
that chew on field corn and riverside 
trees but do not bother to build dams 
that would be lost to flood, I find numer- 
ous raccoon tracks in the mud flats, and 
watch killdeer and plovers pace the shores 



the voices 


PREPs: Free pre-concert talks at 6:15 pm* 

Saturday July 14 730 pm 

Beethoven - Missa Solemnis (Latin) 

Saturday, July 21 730 pm 

Defiant Requiem (Latin) (based on the Verdi Requiem) 
*PREPS will not be offered prior to this concert. 

Saturday, July 28 730 pm 

Opera Scenes: 

Puccini - La RondineActll (Italian) 
Bizet - Les Pecheurs de Perles Act /(French) 
Verdi, Aida Act II (Italian) 

Saturday, August 4 730 pm 

Schubert - Mass in A-flat Mayor (Latin) 
Haydn - Mass in D-minor [Latin] 
(Lord Nelson Mass) 

below banks riddled with cliff swallow 
cavities. The size of the snapping turtles 
laying their eggs in the warm sand bars 
and riverbanks is a marvel. 

In the many oxbows and bends, 
Canada geese, mallards, wood ducks and 
black ducks shelter their families and 
teach them to dabble for river algae and 
edible weeds. In late summer, herds of 
geese roam the riverbanks eating grasses 
and stripping seed heads. As the oxbows 
dry out, heron and egret congregate to 
feast on trapped fish. 

Taking advantage of such abundance, 
higher predators prowl the valley, sly and 
quick. Coyote, fisher cats and mink prey 
on goose, duck, turtle, frog, clam, river rat, 
mice and crayfish, as well as their eggs. 
Human hunters also take coyote, goose 
and duck in season. 

Heavily polluted? The plain evidence 
shows not. Splashing kayakers, picnick- 
ers, hikers and submarine-race watchers 

come in droves to our river. The diverse 
animal community is perhaps larger than 
when the first Sheffield families carved 
a community from the wilderness and 
necessarily lived off the river themselves. 

Unobservant visitors dissing our 
Housy? I think not. Take a walk. Spread 
the word. — Fred Harwood 

Down by the river: The Covered Bridge, 
above, and a great blue heron, left. 

[Editors' note: According to Dennis Regan 
of the Housatonic Valley Association, which 
monitors the river and organizes river trips 
and other activities, technically, the river in 
Sheffield is not polluted. It does have low 
levels ofPCBs, but they are found in the 
river soils and in some foodplain areas. Fish 
caught in the river should not be eaten since 
they are contaminated with PCBs, which 
accumulate in fatty tissue and accumulate 
up the food chain. Fish contamination signs 
are posted all the way down into Connecti- 
cut. But the river is safe to boat in, and it is 
above safe standards to swim in.] 




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Community News 


Two months after a terrible auto accident 
took the life of Moira Banks -Dobson at 
age 24, her family and friends are still pick- 
ing up the pieces of their lives. 

The pain doesn't lessen, says her father, 
Ted Dobson, owner of Equinox Farm 
on Bow Wow Rd. "But the knowledge of 
community support has meant the world 
to me. It's meant the world to me." 

Moira's funeral was held on March 4 
at Dewey Memorial Hall. So many people 
came to pay their respects that it was 
standing room only inside the hall, people 
spilled out the doors onto the sidewalk 
and parking lot outside and a second 
service was held. 

At the service, her father said, "You 
came here with fire and experienced ice. 
You stayed around as long as you could. 
Moira, when love runs this deep, whole 
universes are created. You, my sweet, 
altered us all. Bon voyage, Moira." 

Moira was living with her father, 
brother Ben and his wife and children, and 
two sisters, Melany, 19, and Freya, 15 on 
Main St. in Sheffield. 

Ted Dobson and Moira Banks-Dobson 

An honors student at Hotchkiss 
School in Lakeville, CT, Moira had 
graduated from Yale University last year. 
She was working as a special tutor for 
the Pittsfield Public Schools, where she 

taught all subjects. Moira had many 
interests. She was an athlete, a musician 
and a part-time bee-keeper. 

Ted remembered his last conversation 
with her. "She was looking forward to 


There have been fatal traffic accidents in Sheffield before, but 
veteran first-responders say they never saw anything quite as 
bad as what they found on Route 7 just south of Kellogg Ave. 
after dark on Feb. 28. 

At about 6:50pm four cars were heading south and a dual- 
wheeled one-ton pick-up truck was weaving north. 

As Sheffield Police Chief James M. McGarry later told the 
Associated Press, the pickup truck struck all four cars.'The 
first two were glancing blows.The third was a head-on and 
[the truck] landed on top of the fourth car. The driver of that 
vehicle was trying to turn to get out of his way." 

Felicia Packard, 3 I , of Pownal.VT, suffered minor injuries in 
her Subaru Legacy. Joseph Webb, 4 1 , of North Canaan, CT, was 
unhurt in his 2009 Volkswagen. 

Russell Brown of Canaan, CT, had to be cut free from the 
wreckage of his 2005 Dodge Neon. He was rushed to Berkshire 
Medical Center in Pittsfield and airlifted to Bay State Medical 
Center in Springfield, where he was in intensive care for more 
than a week. Brown is currently in a rehabilitation facility, where 
he is expected to remain "for a very long time," according to his 
fiancee. He is unable to walk and can barely speak. 

Behind Brown, Moira was driving home to Sheffield from 
her job in Pittsfield in her 2009 Toyota Corolla. She was pro- 
nounced dead at the scene. 

Sheffield police got there about five minutes after the acci- 
dent, already on the lookout after being alerted by a motorist 

to a truck swerving all over the road. Route 7 ended up being 
closed for many hours from Sheffield-Egremont Rd. north to 
Lime Kiln Rd. 

After the crash, the driver of the pickup truck climbed 
down off the wrecked Toyota and fled. Police say he was 
located at 7:20. 

Sheffield police charged Fred Weller, 35, of Newtown, 
CT, with motor vehicle homicide, operating a motor vehicle 
with a suspended driver's license, two counts of leaving the 
scene of personal injury/death, intimidation of a witness, 
operating to endanger and operating under the influence of 
liquor, fifth offense. 

It was actually Welter's seventh known drunk driving arrest, 
but Massachusetts does not have a specific statute beyond a 
fifth such charge. There are no records ofWeller possessing 
a valid driver's license since it was revoked when Weller was 
first arrested and convicted while twice operating intoxicated 
as a Vermont teenager. 

Despite a long record of DUIs, assault and other offenses, 
Weller has spent only a few months in jail. At the time of 
his Sheffield arrest, Weller was free on $15,000 bail in a 
Connecticut case for which he faces charges of assault and 
probation violations related to a previous drunken-driving 
conviction, chief probation officer Ulysses Serpa said. Weller 
is currently awaiting trial at Berkshire Superior Court, held 
on$l million bail. — J.R. 


doing some new things with her life. She 
was trying to figure out what direction to 
go. She had gotten a new job the day she 
was killed." The new job involved caring 
for young children. 

"She was a magnet to all who knew 
her," says her mother, Anne Banks. Anne 
owns and operates the organic farm 

The community turns out: Crowds pay 
respects at the funeral at Dewey Hall. 

Earthborn Garden in Hillsdale, NY, 
tilling the land every spring with a horse- 
drawn plow. Banks also teaches music at 
Indian Mountain School in Lakeville and 
performs in Kitchen Kaylie Band, a trio 
that plays traditional folk, bluegrass and 
some jazz. 

"We all loved her so much," Anne says. 
"Moira's loss is unimaginable, and yet it's 
real. We are trying to find our way forward 
on a new, winding journey, while carefully 
sifting through the wreckage of what's left: 
and what's remembered." 

"It's a big hole where my daughter used 
to be," says Ted. "One minute she is here, 
the next day she is not." 

Donations in memory of Moira Fenno 
Banks-Dobson can be made to the Rail- 
road Youth Project, 60 Bridge St., Great 
Barrington, MA 01230, 528-2475,, 

— Jim Russell 


Bidwell House, a museum of Berkshire 
Colonial history in Monterey, will 
present a series of events focused on 
the lore, lives and ways of the Colonial 
inhabitants of Berkshire County, with 
a special emphasis on the grounds and 
towns immediately surrounding this 
unique 18 th century home. 

On Sun., May 27, at 3pm, singer- 
songwriter Diane Taraz will sing 
"Songs of Home and Hearth" from 
her early American repertoire and 
play her lap dulcimer and guitar to 
celebrate the 2012 season opening. 
Refreshments will be served. 

On Sat., June 16, at I Oam, Tom 
Ryan, Southern Berkshire Service 
Forester from the Mass Department 
of Conservation and Recreation, will 
give a talk and walk on forest manage- 
ment and forest health. Attendees 
can tour forest lots in various stages 
of re-growth as well as a recently 
harvested section. 

On Sat., June 30, at I Oam, John 
Demos, Samuel Knight Professor of 
American History Emeritus at Yale 
University will give a history talk 
on "The Unredeemed Captive: Her 
Journey and My Own." The talk looks 
back at Demos' prize-winning 1994 
book about the 1 704 attack on Deer- 
field and the fate of captive Eunice 
Williams. Held atTyringham Union 
Church, Main RoadTyringham. 

Bidwell House Museum is open 
Thursdays to Mondays (closed Tues- 
days and Wednesdays) from I lam to 
4pm with tours on the hour, Memorial 
Day to Columbus Day. The museum 
grounds — 1 92 acres of woods, 
fields, historic stonewalls, trails and 
picnic sites — are open all year free of 
charge. For more information see 




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Individual space in a unique environment of creative 
professionals including artists, solopreneurs, freelancers, 
startups, satellite offices and independent professionals. 

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413-229-3576 | 

Community News 


Music and Mores 2012 season kicks off 
with art shows and a writing contest. 

The opening reception for "Moments 
of Focus," a juried photography show, is 
May 25 from 5 to 7pm. The photos will 
be judged by David LaSpina of Bard Col- 
lege at Simon's Rock. The show runs May 
26 to June 17. 

"Sculpture on the Green" features 
pieces by Toby Frank, Joe Wheaton, 
Robin Tost, Eric Callahan, Ellen Mur- 
taugh and River Kelly. The opening 
reception is June 22, also 5 to 7pm, and 
show runs June 23 to July 8. 

Both shows will be held at the Meet- 
ing House Gallery on Route 57 in New 

Additional art shows and literary 
events are scheduled. Later in the season, 
in September and October, the festival 
hosts music events, including perfor- 
mances by the Daedalus String Quartet, 
the Boston Classical Trio and the Jewish 

Jazz Project Ensemble. 

Music & More, directed by 
its founder Harold Lewin, is 
in its 21st year. The festival is 
sponsored by the New Marl- 
borough Village Association, 
membership in which gives a 
discount on tickets. The New 
Marlborough Village Associa- 
tion is a nonprofit organization 
dedicated to fostering historic 
preservation of the 1839 
Meeting House on the village 
green, promoting appreciation 
of the area's natural beauty and 
heritage and sponsoring and 
promoting cultural program- 
ming that will enhance the civic 
life of New Marlborough and 
the surrounding community. 

For more information, visit or 
call 229-2785. 


The deadline for submissions to the 2012 
Murder Mystery Writer's Contest, sponsored 
by Music & More and the New Marlborough 
Village Association, is June 1 5This year's 
contest, titled "Slice 'em & Dice 'em or I think 
I need to Lie Down Now," culminates on Aug. 
4 at 4:30pm with a free public reading at the 
Meeting House. Judges will select the top three 
winners, with prizes of $300, $200 and $ 1 00. 

Guidelines call for the victim or victims 
to be killed off with organic edibles that are 
ingested, absorbed or otherwise introduced 
into the body with lethal intent In addition, this 
year each story must include at least one cliche 
relating to the story (i.e. "blood is thicker than 
water"). A humorous approach is welcome but 
not required. The contest is limited to full- or 
part-time Berkshire County residents. 

Manuscripts must be emailed to mys- or sent on 
a CD to John Manikowski, P.O. Box 149, Mill 
River, MA, 1 244.The contest, conceived and 
directed by John Manikowski, is made possible 
through a grant from the New Marlborough 
Cultural Council together with New Marlbor- 
ough's Music & More program. 

For more about this year's contest and last 
year's winning stories, see www.newmarlbor- 




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who was enslaved in 
the Ashley House, 
helped to end slavery 
in Massachusetts. In 
1781, she sued Col. 
Ashley for her free- 
dom — and won — 
and took the name 
Elizabeth Freeman. 
Last year volun- 
teers made nearly 
60 Mumbet dolls, 
following a design 
by Sheffield native 
Ruth LaPrise. Over 
the past few months, 
10 local women have 
been sewing more 

The Ashley House, a 
Trustees of Reserva- 
tions property in 
Ashley Falls, tells the 
intertwined stories of 
the Ashley family and 
the enslaved African 
Americans who lived 
here in the 18 th century. 
Col. John Ashley sup- 
ported the American 
Revolution, heading a 
committee that wrote 
the fiery Sheffield 
Resolves, a peti- 
tion against British 

tyranny and manifesto Mumbet Doll, designed by Ruth LaPrise. 
for individual rights, 

in 1773. His financial success was based in dolls, using fabrics donated by Country 
part on the labor of five enslaved African Curtains. The dolls are sold for $25 in the 
Americans. gift shops of the Ashley House, Naumkeag 

Inspired by Revolutionary- era rhetoric and the Mission House in Stockbridge, as 
and her own desire for freedom, Mumbet, well as in other local shops. Proceeds go to 


Plans are underway once again for 
the Sheffield Fair. The Fair, part of the 
1 2 th annual Sheffield in Celebration, will 
take place at the Town Park on Sat., 
Sept. 8, from noon to 5pm. 

We want to grow the Fair — the 
booths, exhibitions, food, activities, 
music, animal and other agricultural 
displays — and are looking for people 
interested in helping us do that. 

Have a new idea or addition to 
the fair? Interested in doing publicity 
or helping with the organizing? Do 
you have experience with animal 
showmanship and fitting competi- 
tions and judging? Want to help set 
up booths or directing parking on the 
day? Let us know. 

We are also looking for vendors 
and exhibitors. 

If you would like to participate, 
call Kathy Orlando at 229-8789, 
email or 
write the Sheffield Fair, P.O. Box 
1 339, Sheffield, MA 01 257. 

Berkshire Styles 


534 South Main Street 

Sheffield, MA 01257 


Annie Juhlin 

Hair cKp Tanning 
Waxing^ApEar Piercing 

Seniors save 20% on Mondays! 

Hours: Sunday 1-5, Monday (senior day) 9-3, 
Thursday 10-6, Friday 9-5, Sat 9-3 

general maintenance needs at the Ashley 
House. Each doll is signed by the doll- 
maker and comes with a pamphlet telling 
Mumbet's story. 

To celebrate doll-makers' time, talent 
and efforts, they will be honored with a tea 
on May 12. The event is hosted by the Ash- 
ley House Property Committee, a volunteer 
group that supports the Ashley House. 

The Ashley House is an anchor site 
on the African American Heritage Trail, 
which encompasses 29 Massachusetts and 
Connecticut towns and celebrates African 
Americans who played pivotal roles in 
national and international events, as well 
as ordinary people of achievement. 

For more information about the 
Ashley House and the African American 
Heritage Trail, visit 
or The 
Ashley House is located at 117 Cooper 
Hill Rd. E-mail 

— Trudy Weaver Miller 


Help promote and grow Sheffield's Dewey 
Memorial Hall, home of the Folk Music 
Series, contra dances, Housatontic Valley 
Art League shows, and other fun events. 
We are seeking someone to manage our 
e-newsletter and databases and to post 
announcements with media outlets. 

Maybe you want to learn or maybe you 
already know how and want to help out. 
This is a volunteer position, but there are 
perks. The work takes an estimated 3-6 
hours per month. You need your own 
computer, writing skills, and Internet savvy. 



Library News 


I noticed the posters around town. There 
was to be a poetry reading at our library 
on Friday, April 13. Because I have just 
begun to try that mode of writing myself, 
my interest was piqued. 

Ten people were scheduled to read 
work, some whose names I recognized — 
Pauline Clark, William Connell, Michelle 
Gillett, Hillary Russell — and others new 
to me — Mindy Dow, Cynthia Gardner, 
Joan Peronto, Philip Timpane, Lisken 
Van Pelt Dus and Irene Willis. 

Poetry read-arounds are held on 
Saturday afternoons once a month at 
the Library from 3:30 to 5pm. Any- 
one interested in reading and hearing 
poetry is welcome. Each session 
discusses one poet's work as well as 
readers' work. Coming up: 

May 26: William Carlos Williams 
June 23: Billy Collins 

I arrived somewhat early and was 
surprised to see chairs filling up. By 
the time the event began, the room was 
packed with people from Sheffield and all 
over the county. 

As the readings progressed we were 
offered poems of humor, nature, rela- 
tionships and magic. All were read with 
enthusiasm, modesty, and good nature. 
I realize this phrase is over used, but 
time did really fly. With characteristic 
graciousness, our librarian, Nancy Hahn 
served as hostess. 

It was truly a great evening, although, 
somewhat humbling for a neophyte 
writer like myself. — Marcia Savage 

Come to your library for 
Knitting • Chess • Singing »Yoga • 
Poetry • Storytime 'Talks • More! 


On April 20, Harry Conklin presented a 
slide show and commentary about his Peace 
Corps service in Iran from 1968-1971. 

Harry was in a group of 50 American 
volunteers trained in Kurdish or Farsi for 
work in nursing, English, or agriculture. 
As an animal husbandry specialist, Harry 
was stationed in a remote Kurdish sheep 
station near the Iraq border. His projects 
included improved ways for feeding, 
breeding, and clipping. The slides revealed 
a goodly variety of shaggy sheep, includ- 
ing the prized fat-tail breed. 

The beautiful city of Istfahan was a 
long bus ride away. Harry visited the tiled 
domes and doorways and the bazaars 
there, photographing street scenes and 
open-air tradesmen. Along the way he 
befriended many and appreciated the 
wisdom of ancient ways. For the capacity 
crowd in attendance, it was a rare treat to 
see these glimpses from 40 years ago. 

— Fred Gordon 




Fine Gardens • Stonework • Tree Care 
Plant Health Care 

Collecting, Preserving and Transmitting 
Sheffield's History for the Future 

The 1774 Dan Raymond House Museum offers tours 

May through September. Come explore the daily lives of 

common people from the Revolutionary generation onward, 

including the intriguing history of the Sheffield Tory for 

whom the house is named. 

The Mark Dewey Research Center houses the town's early 

archives, including tax and real estate records, historic 

photographs, and genealogical research. Open most 

Mondays and Fridays, from 1:30 to 4pm, year round. 

The 1834 Old Stone Store located on the Town Green func- 
tions as the Society's gift shop and exhibition space. Open 
weekends April to December. 

159 Main Street • PO Box 747 • Sheffield, MA 01257 

413.229.2694 • 


Users of the Bushnell-Sage Library 
have been able to use the one shared 
catalog of Central and Western Massa- 
chusetts Automated Resource Sharing, 
Inc. (C/W MARS), the public library 
consortium for the Central and Western 
Massachusetts libraries. The system also 
allows patrons to place holds on books 
they want to borrow from their home 
computers, reserve museum passes and 
read e-books online. 

C/W MARS has announced that 
it will be changing the catalog software 
it uses, most likely on Memorial Day 
weekend. The Sheffield Library staff 
is preparing for the changeover. Since 
the catalog is bound to the borrowing 
software with which libraries check out 
books, you can expect some delays in 
the first few weeks of service as staff at 
all libraries in Berkshire County become 
acquainted with the new look. 

The new catalog product, called 

"Evergreen," is based on open-source 
software code, which makes it more 

What will be different? For the 
patron, the look of the catalog interface. 
The catalog will integrate both the 
Central and Western regions into one, so 
there will be more choices in one simple 
search. Your personal account will be 
easier to negotiate through the use of tabs 
on your "dashboard." And you will be able 
to have up to 20 items on hold at a time. 

If you keep your reading history or 
wish lists on the old system, it will not 
transfer over, unfortunately. So you may 
want to save those before the switch to 
Evergreen. In the new system, you can 
use the Lists option to create lists of 
titles by category and share and discuss 
them with friends. 

There will likely be a transition 
time where patrons will be unable to 
access their accounts. Expect that holds, 


Just off Route 7 in Sheffield 4 1 3-229-7004 

Hours:Tues.-Thurs. I0-5;Fri. 10-8; 

Sat. 1 0-5, Sun 2-5; Mon. closed 

museum passes and payment of fines to 
be temporarily suspended sometime in 
May. The catalog might also not properly 
display which items are available. Please 
call the library at 229-7004 or visit in 
person to conduct library transactions 
during that time. 

Since passwords are set by the 
patron, not the library, your current 
PIN will disappear in the new system. 
Instead, use the last four digits of your 
library card for your first login, and you 
will then be prompted to change your 

We thank you for your patience as 
we transition to the new system, and 
hope you will enjoy your new online 


"Keep the 'wild' in wildlife" was the theme of an illustrated 
talk by Andrew Madden, supervisor of the Western Wildlife 
District of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife of the 
Commonwealth, at the Bushnell-Sage Library on April 27. 
Some 50 people attended. 

One of the interesting realities of life in our times is 
that many species, some once almost extinct, are expand- 
ing rapidly. Madden's office receives most calls about bears. 
Bears are highly intelligent creatures, and while females are 
more limited in their range, males travel hundreds of miles 
and can remember for years where they have found food. 
His advice for those encountering a bear is to never run 
away. Instead, talk to it, while backing slowly away, always 
allowing space for the bear to retreat. 

Coyotes are found throughout the Commonwealth and 
are very successful in adapting to their surroundings. Bob- 
cats are increasingly common and are frequently confused 
with mountain lions. 

Madden is concerned about the sudden and unexpected 
decline of bats because of white nose syndrome. Some 5.5 
million bats in the U.S. have died recently.The cause of the 
syndrome is unknown and the effects on wildlife are seri- 
ous, since bats feed on insects. 

Madden also noted that there about 900 moose in the 
Commonwealth, that beaver are flourishing, and that Shef- 
field has the distinction of being home to rattlesnakes. 

— John Wightman 


Massachusetts, Connecticut & New York Properties 

Representing Buyers and Sellers in the Tri- 
State area for over 30 years. If you are plan- 
ning to buy or sell, please contact us. Our 
office is open 7 days a week. We are members 
of the Berkshire Board of Realtors and their 
Multiple Listing Service as well as the Litch- 
field County Board and their MLS. Visit our 
website at, 
e-mail:, or just call us at 

575 Sheffield Plain, (Route 7) 

Sheffield, MA 01257 

Sandra Preston, Broker, GRI, CRS 


Church News 


The children from the church school program of the Christ 
Episcopal/Trinity Lutheran and Old Parish churches wish to 
thank the people of Sheffield for helping to make the fourth 
annual Church School Bake Sale a success. Over $900 was 
realized from the sale and donations. 

The proceeds were used to supply complete Easter ham 
dinner baskets for the families who use the Sheffield Food 
Program. Enough money was raised to purchase supermar- 
ket gift cards to include in the baskets. The children helped 
assemble the baskets on Palm Sunday morning for delivery 
Monday morning. Jennifer Otte and Joanne Derwitsch from 
Christ Episcopal/Trinity Lutheran Church organized the 

The two Sheffield churches have shared a church school 
program for eight years. In recent years the program has 
focused on caring for local and world communities. In addi- 
tion to the Easter dinner baskets, an Advent penny collection 
project successfully purchased a flock of chicks, two llamas 
and a swarm of bees through Heifer International, an organi- 
zation that works to develop programs that alleviate hunger 
and poverty in various areas of the world. 

— Margaret Joseph, Director of Children & Youth Ministries 



Lois Van Cleef 

Casa Mia Studio 

Ashley Falls, Massachusetts 


I traditional jSjaturopathic O arc 

Pam Youngquisi PhD 

jf p am @ natu ro p at hi cwel I n esse are . co m 
._ ^ ■> * (413) 229-9013 


The First Congregational Church of South Egremont is 
holding a baked ham dinner on Sat, May 1 9, from 5 to 7pm. 
Adults, $ 1 0; children 5- 1 2, $5, children under 5, free. 

Crafters and artisansThe Church is looking for items to 
be donated for a silent auction that will be held on Sat.,July 
2 1. There will be no tag sale this year. 

For more information, call 4 1 3-528-2368. 



Greenwoods Community Church (non-denominational), 355 Clayton Rd. 
229-8560; parsonage (860) 824-7442. Sunday: 9:30am Sunday School (ages 
3-adult); 10:30am Worship Service, nursery care provided. Rev. Edward M. 
Eastman Jr., Pastor 

Trinity Methodist (United Methodist), 1156 Ashley Falls Rd. Sunday: 11am 
Service. Ken Phesay. 


First Congregational Church of South Egremont, 34 Main St. 528-2209. 
Sunday Worship: 10am. Rev. Steven Blackburn and Rev. Susan Wyman, Supply 


Congregation Ahavath Shalom (reconstructionist), North St. 528-4197. 
Friday, 8pm & Saturday, 10am. Services not held every week. Schedules are 
updated on answering machine 

Hevreh of Southern Berkshire, 270 State Rd. 528-6378. Friday: 7:30pm 
Shabbat Service. Saturday: 10am Shabbat service & Torah study. Rabbi Deborah 
Zecher, Associate Rabbi Ari Rosenberg 


Christ Church Episcopal & Trinity Lutheran,180 Main St. 229-881 I.Sunday: 
8am & 10am Holy Eucharist; 10am Sunday School & child care; Thursday: 10am 
Holy Eucharist & Healing. Rev. Anne Ryder 

Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, Route 7 & Kellogg Rd. 229-8649. 
The public is welcome. 

Old Parish (United Church of Christ), 125 Main St. 229-8173. Sunday: 10am 
Worship. Rev. Jill Graham, Pastor 

Our Lady of the Valley (Catholic), Maple Ave. 229-3028. Saturday: 4:00pm Mass; 
Sunday: Sheffield 7:30am, 9am Masses; Mill River 10:30 Mass. Rev. Bruce Teague 

Sheffield Chapel (non-denominational), 1970 N. Main St. 528-2911, www. Sunday: 10:45am Worship, 9:30am Sunday School for all 
ages. Wed.: Group Prayer Time 7pm. Pastor: Corey McLaughlin 


for the 


Saturday, September 8 ♦ 12noon-5pm 
(see details on page 11) 


Senior Center News 


The universe* In late May, about 20 Sheffield seniors were 
treated to a lecture about the universe by Sam Cabot, a junior 
at Berkshire School. Sam's second astronomy lecture at the 
Senior Center included a slide presentation of the solar system, 
planets, asteroids and nebulae. 

The lecture was followed by an evening field trip to the Dixon 
Observatory at Berkshire School, where seniors viewed the 
planet Venus, the rings of Saturn and the Great Orion Nebula. 

Life. The Senior Life History Project finished up in mid- 
April. Seniors and middle school students worked together over 
a period of eight weeks to create a scrapbook for each senior 
detailing his or her life journeys. A party held on the last day was 
attended by State Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli. 

Breakfast. The third men's breakfast was a rousing success, 
attended by 30 hungry men (note: men do eat quiche, especially 
when it's made by Ed Knapp). The topic of the breakfast was 
"stories about what you love most that is not human." Dis- 
cussion seemed to revolve around the Berkshires and wives! 
Meanwhile, a live-cam video feed of a family of bald eagles nest- 
ing in Davenport, IA, was being viewed on the new 62-inch, 
high -definition TV given by the Friends of the Sheffield Senior 
Center. The next men's breakfast will be held in June. 

Butterflies. Some 30 people traveled by bus to the Magic 
Wings Butterfly Conservatory & Gardens in South Deerfield, 
MA. The 8,000-square foot conservatory houses nearly 4,000 
native and tropical butterflies year round. It is also home to 
many plants and a pond with a small waterfall and brilliantly 
colored Japanese carp, called koi. After, the group stopped at the 
flagship Yankee Candle store. The trip was arranged by Dawn 
Massini, a member of the Council on Aging. 

Coming events: The annual Volunteer Appreciation Din- 
ner on May 23. The Friends of the Sheffield Senior Center 
Tag Sale on June 2 from 8am to 2pm. A fraud-awareness 
program sponsored by Berkshire Bank. A trip to Chester- 
wood and Hancock Shaker Village. On June 18, "Sharing your 
Travels" will feature Gilian Shallcross and her trip to Burma. 

Seniors and the middle school students who worked on the life his- 
tory project. State Representative William "Smitty" Pignatelli is in 
the back, third from left. 

Teresa Bellizzi views Venus through the telescope at Berkshire 
School's Dixon Observatory as student Sam Cabot looks on. 

A trip to the Mac-Haydn Theatre in July to see a production 
of "Legally Blonde." A Mother-Daughter-Granddaughter Tea 
at the Senior Center. 

Ongoing activities: Computer workshops on email, Google 
searching and Skype. Exercise, sit-to-be-fit and qijong classes. 
Wii bowling. Writers' Forum. Knit and Stitch. Check with the 
Senior Center for details. 

The Sheffield Senior Center is located at 25 Cook Rd., just 
behind the American Legion. It is open Monday to Friday from 
9am to 2:30pm. John- Arthur Miller is director and Barbara 
Fletcher is assistant director. They can be reached at 229-7037. 

— Trudy Weaver Miller 


On April 14, country stars Romeo and Lockwood held a 
concert to benefit the Friends of the Sheffield Senior Center 
at Dewey Hall.Jeannie Romeo and Alice Lockwood did 
tributes to Patsy Cline, Brenda Lee and Connie Francis to 
a full house. It was a wonderful time, with much audience 
participation — singing, clapping of hands, stomping of feet 
and even dancing. In addition to the concert, there was a 
Chinese auction and a raffle. What an enjoyable evening it 
was! The Friends would like to thank Romeo and Lockwood 
for donating their time and superb talents to benefit our 

Tag sale coming. The next big event being planned 
by the Friends is our annual tag sale. The date has been set 
for Sat., June 2, at the Senior Center. We will be accepting 
donations at the Senior Center on Fri.June I, from I lam to 
2:30pm. See you there! 

Social media. And... The Friends have entered the 
electronic age! We now have a Facebook page! Check us 
out at The Friends of the Sheffield Senior Center on www., where you'll see upcoming events and pic- 
tures. We will be updating this page regularly and expanding 
the content. 

Come on down. Also, don't forget to stop by the 
Senior Center anytime to join in the fun activities, work on a 
puzzle or just to visit! — Claudia Martin 


Village Green 


Feb. 6 working meeting 

Highway Superintendent Ed Lord was 
present to discuss repairs that might be 
needed on County Rd. Discussion ensued 
regarding purchase of a new roadside 
mower for the Highway Department. [The 
article allocation money for the mower was 
approved at Town Meeting.] 

The Board voted to compensate 
Richard M. Boardman $20 per hour as a 
Temporary Highway Employee. It dis- 
cussed the form to be used for the Town 
Administrator's evaluation on Feb. 16. It 
then discussed an employee complaint and 
decided to ask an independent outside 
person to investigate and make recommen- 
dations to the Board. 

Feb. 6 regular meeting 

The Board discussed the vacancy on the 
Planning Board, to be filled through a joint 
appointment of the Board of Selectmen 
and the Planning Board. David Smith, Sr., 
Chair, Peter ChernefF, and James Colling- 
wood, Jr., were present from the Planning 
Board. Two people applied for the position. 
The two boards voted 5 to 1 to appoint 
Maria Nation for a term to expire on June 
30. [She is running unopposed for a full term 
in May.] 

The Board discussed the municipal 
health care reform legislation enacted in 
2011 and the next steps in the process. The 
Board decided to change insurance benefits 
as allowed by the act. 

Treasurer Michael Ovitt was present 
and stated that the Town would be having 
an Insurance Premium Holiday for the 
month of March, with a combined savings 
to the Town and employees of approxi- 
mately $26,000. 

The Board decided to table discus- 
sion of various employee appointments. It 
discussed the Selectmen's Annual Report. 
Kathy Roth from the Community Preser- 
vation Coalition in Boston contacted the 
Board regarding the Community Preserva- 
tion Act; the Board decided that Chairman 
Rene Wood would follow up . 

Wood thanked Kiwanis for the gener- 
ous donation of three defibrillators that are 
now located at the Town Hall, Library and 
the Senior Center. 

The Board voted to enter into 
executive session for the purpose of 
collective bargaining. 

Feb. 10 working meeting 

David West requested to video record 
the meeting. His request was granted by 
Chairman Wood. 

Transfer Station employees Donald 
Wilson, head attendant, Diane Farnham 
and Janet Hogelin, attendants, were pres- 
ent. Discussion ensued regarding Trans- 
fer Station policies and job descriptions, 
including signage, hours of operation, 
overtime, bulky waste, swap shop, build- 
ing debris, metal box and use of time. The 
Board reminded the Transfer Station 


Sheffield residents who have purchased a FY20 1 2 Transfer Station sticker can take 
up to one pickup-truck load of furniture, rugs, small pieces left over from a do-it- 
yourself project and other bulky waste to the Transfer Station Fri., May 1 8, 2 to 
4pm, Sat., May 1 9, 8am to 4pm, and Sun., May 20, 8am to noon. 

A coupon is required (one per household), obtainable at the Sheffield Tax Col- 
lector's office, or by mail by sending a stamped self-addressed envelope, including 
your license plate number, to the Treasurer/Collector's Office, P.O. Box 367, Shef- 
field, MA 01257. 

Not accepted: demolition debris (sheet rock, plaster, fiberglass), tires, cathode 
ray tubes (TVs, computer monitors), wood, propane tanks, car batteries, recyclable 
metals, toxic materials (pesticides, chemicals, oil, etc.) and items that can fit in the 
trash compactor. No refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners or dehumidifiers; other 
"white goods" and recyclable metals can be put in the metals container next to 
compactor. For more information, contact David Steindler at 229-2628 or Town 
Hall at 229-7000, ext. 152. 

employees that all issues concerning the 
Transfer Station should be brought to 
the Town Administrator's attention. 

The Board voted to appoint Betty Petter- 
son to the Insurance Advisory Committee. 

Feb. 21 regular meeting 

The Board voted to sign a letter of 
intent to participate in the FY 2013 
Southern Berkshire Household Hazardous 
Waste Program. 

Fire Chief Rick Boardman was present 
to talk about reimbursement for firefighters 
taking an EMS course. After discussion, the 
Board asked him to discuss increasing the 
compensation for training with members 
of the Fire Department before further 
discussion with the Board. Selectman Julie 
Hannum asked Chief Boardman to make 
sure requests for reimbursement for train- 
ing are filled out completely. 

Chief Boardman told the Board that 
the new propane tank could be placed next 
to the Fire House rather than the Railroad 
Barn. He also said that Engine 3 needs 
repair work. He will discuss this further 
with Town Administrator Rhonda LaBom- 
bard once an estimate is received. 

Claudia Martin, president of the 
Friends of the Senior Center, was present 
to discuss possible fundraising ideas. The 
Board said that it would like to receive 
input from the Friends of the Library also. 
A joint working session with the Friends 
of the Senior Center, Friends of the 
Library and the Board of Selectmen will 
be arranged. The Board encouraged the 
Friends of the Senior Center to research 
grants and requested that the Friends pass 
that information to the Town Administra- 
tor as they move forward. 

The Board discussed the allocation 
amount for the Southern Berkshire Elderly 
Transportation Corporation and decided to 
invite someone from the organization to a 
future meeting. 

Administrator LaBombard noted that 
the Town recendy received a Materials 
Recycling Facility payment of $4,774.72 
and dianked the residents for their partici- 
pation in our recycling program. 

The Board entered into executive 
session to discuss collective bargaining and 
cable license renewal. 



Tues. & Fri.: I pm-4pm; Sat.: 8am-4pm; 
Sun.: 8:30am-2pm 

March 5 working meeting 

The Board discussed updating the 
personnel policy manual. 

March 5 regular meeting 

Thomas Carmody, the Town's Zoning 
Enforcement Officer, was present to give 
an update on the Woodedge property. The 
Board started to discuss forming a Survey 
Board and decided to continue the discus- 
sion at the next meeting. 

The Board voted to appoint James 
Collingwood,Jr., as a member of the bylaw 
Review Committee. 

David Smith, Sr., Chair of the Plan- 
ning Board, was present to discuss the 
proposed sign bylaw changes. A public 
hearing will be held on March 28, and the 
proposed changes will be posted on the 
Town website and available in the Town 
Clerk and Town Administrator's office. 
The Board voted to continue the process 
that will put the revisions on the Annual 

Town Meeting Warrant. [See also Planning 
Board notes on page 22; the bylaw revisions 
did pass at Town Meeting.] 

After discussion, the Board decided to 
install additional coat pegs at the Senior 
Center. A decision about permitted uses 
of the Senior Center will be discussed at a 
future meeting. 

The Board voted to approve a letter to 
the Southern Berkshire Elderly Transport 
Corporation requesting usage data and a 
representative to attend a future meeting. 

Selectman Julie Hannum requested 
that the Town follow up with Peter Niles 
from the Massachusetts Dept. of Trans- 
portation regarding the sidewalks in the 
center of Sheffield. After discussion, the 
Board decided that all communication 
with DOT be made through the Town 
Administrator's office. Chairman Wood 
presented a draft letter to the U.S Depart- 
ment of Transportation in support of 
the Tiger IV grant application, which the 

Board voted to approve. 

Chairman Wood congratulated all the 
Mt. Everett students who made the Honor 
Roll. Selectman Hannum congratulated 
Seamus Wolfe who won the wrestling State 
Championship in his weight class. 

Michelle Harwood inquired about 
Senior Center special account balances. 
David West submitted a letter of concern. 

The Board voted to approve a tempo- 
rary roadside event sign for the Friends 
of Wilson McLaughlin House, for their 
monthly contra and square dances to be 
held on the fourth Saturday of each month 
at Dewey Hall during 2012. The sign 
will be erected on the Village Green the 
Monday before each dance and removed 
the evening of each dance. Administrator 
LaBombard will advise Joe Baker that 
the application for the permit should be 
submitted in December prior to the first 
dance event. 

Continued on page 18 



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MINUTES, continued from page 7 7 

March 9 working meeting the purchase of a truck for the Highway 

The Board discussed the final draft Dept. and to transfer $50,000 from free 

of the proposed Transfer Station Policies cash into the fund. [The warrant article. 

and Job Descriptions. Discussion ensued 
regarding bulky waste collection. The 
Board decided to discuss the storage shed 
and swap shop, disposal of batteries and 
light bulbs, air conditioning, signage and 
the metal bin at future meetings. 

March 19 working meeting 

Animal Control Officer Marty Clark 
was present to discuss a dog bite incident. 

regarding this action was approved at 
Town Meeting.] 

Administrator LaBombard recom- 
mended that the Board adopt the Transfer 
Station Policies and Job Descriptions as 
submitted, and the Board so voted. 

In a discussion regarding Municipal 
Health Care Reform, Town Administra- 
tor LaBombard recommended that the 
Board offer both the Value Plus and 

The Board decided to hold a public hearing Benchmark health insurance plans to 

on the matter on March 26. All involved 
parties will be notified by mail. 

The Board voted to enter into execu- 
tive session for the purpose of collective 

March 19 regular meeting 

The Board voted to establish a 
stabilization fund to set funds aside for 

employees FY 2013. The Board so voted. 

The Board discussed a citizen's petition 
received regarding zoning bylaws. The 
Board voted to refer it to the Planning 
Board. [The warrant article based on this 
petition was "passed over" at Town Meeting.] 

The Board voted to appoint Christine 
Ludwiszewski to the Housing Commission 
for a term to expire June 30, 2014. 

Janet Stanton was appointed by Admin- 
istrator LaBombard to investigate a citizens 
complaint regarding a town employee, an 
appointment ratified by the Board. 

Building Inspector Carmody was 
present to discuss the contract with Full 
Circle Technologies for the online permit- 
ting software. Discussion ensued regarding 
the capabilities of the program. The Board 
voted to authorize Carmody to sign the 
contract as presented. 

Carmody, in his role as Zoning 
Enforcement Officer, gave an update on 
the Woodedge property. He stated that the 
building had been removed at the expense 
of the owner. 

Administrator LaBombard said that the 
elevator in Town Hall was in full service. 

David West inquired about the mainte- 
nance of the Town's website and submitted 
a letter to the Board. 
March 26 working meeting 

Chairman Wood opened a public hear- 


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ing at 6pm to hear testimony regarding a 
dog bite incident on Home Rd. The victim 
was not present. Jessica Robbins, the dog 
owner, stated that she was present when the 
bite occurred and immediately called her 
dog into the house. Animal Control Officer 
Marty Clark stated that this was the second 
incident involving this dog and that in his 
opinion the dog has a vicious disposition. 
He recommended that the dog be eutha- 
nized. The Board voted to find that the 
dog owned by Jessica Robbins has a vicious 
disposition and authorized Clark to have 
the dog euthanized. 

The Board voted that the Town of 
Sheffield elect to engage in the process to 
change health insurance benefits under the 
Municipal Health Care Reform act. 

The Conservation Commission 
requested funds to hire a consultant. After 
discussion, the Board voted to approve the 
funds, with a cap of $500, from the "Notice 
of Intent Wedands" account. 

Discussion ensued regarding a citizens 
complaint regarding an employee. The 
Board decided to hold an executive session 
on April 2. The Board then voted to enter 
into executive session. 

April 2 regular meeting 

The Board met in executive session. 
Minutes of the regular session were not 
available at press time. 
April 9 working meeting with the Council 
on Aging at the Senior Center 

Discussion ensued regarding the proper 
procedures for the Council on Aging, 
Friends of the Senior Center and the 
Senior Center Director. Town Administra- 
tor LaBombard reminded the council that 
before it comes to the Town Administrator 
or the Board of Selectmen with an item, it 
needs to have come to a consensus. 

Administrator LaBombard noted that 
window treatments had been purchased 
and would be delivered in approximately 


Salisbury Bank is sponsoring a Com- 
munity Shred-It Day in Sheffield on 
Sat, May 1 9, from 9am to 1 2 noon 
at its bank branch on North Main 
St. Each person may bring up to four 
boxes of paper for shredding by 
Shred-It personnel. (Paper only; no 
binders, please.) 

The bank is sponsoring the effort 
to help in the fight against identity theft 
while building community goodwill.The 
shredded paper will be recycled. 

three weeks. 

The meeting discussed fund balances. A 
new committee will be charged with finish- 
ing the basement. The council will discuss 
how to store tables and chairs and come 
to the Board of Selectmen with a recom- 
mendation. Administrator LaBombard 
reminded the council that the Highway 
Dept. is available to assist with setting up 
table and chairs with advance notice. 

The meeting also discussed usage of the 
Senior Center, the Friends of the Senior 
Center and use of a Facebook page and 

Continued on page 20 



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MINUTES, continued from page 19 

having a link on the Town Website. 

Administrator LaBombard stated 
that she has received complaints about the 
Senior Center being nicknamed "Cook 
Road Clubhouse." 

Administrator LaBombard discussed 
the computer sign-in system and expressed 
concern that the number of drop -in 
visitors will be skewed due to the fact that 
everyone entering is asked to sign in as a 
drop-in visitor and that is not always the 
case. She also suggested that sensitivity 
be used towards those who may feel their 
privacy is being violated. 

Carl Schuman inquired about solar 
panels and the external paint of the building. 

April 9 working meeting at Town Hall 

The Board discussed the final draft of 
the 2012 Annual Town Meeting Warrant 
and voted to approve it as drafted. 

The Board then discussed the School 
Task Force that will be created by the 


School Committee to research long-range 
goals of the Southern Berkshire Regional 
School District. The Board decided to draft 
a letter to the School Committee with its 
recommendations for the task force. 

The Board voted to close the Senior 
Center on May 14 for the town elections as 
requested by Felecie Joyce, the Town Clerk. 

Chairman Wood drafted a letter 
regarding the state's renewable energy sit- 
ing bill that would take control of renew- 
able energy away from localities. After 
discussion, the Board voted to approve the 
letter as drafted. 

The Board discussed holiday pay for 
Transfer Station employees and decided 
to give them the option to close the 
Transfer Station on holidays. If they 
choose the option to close the Station, 
they will not receive holiday pay, as part- 
time employees are not eligible. 

The Board discussed the Sheffield Food 
Program's request to store excess food at 


All 10 seats on the School Committee 
for the Southern Berkshire Regional 
School District are all up for election 
in November. To create a Committee 
with staggered terms, some of the 
seats will be for two-year terms and 
some for four-year terms. Sheffield has 
four seats, two for each term length. 
Candidates must decide which length 
of term they wish to be elected to and 
note it on their nomination papers. 

Anyone from any of the five towns 
in the District interested in running 
for the School Committee can pick 
up nomination papers at any Town 
Clerk's office in the five towns or at 
the District clerk's office. Candidates 
must gather at least 27 signatures. 
Papers are due back to the Town 
Clerk by July 24. 

Call the Superintendent's office, 
229-8778, ext 304, with any questions. 

the Senior Center and decided not to allow 
such storage at this time. 

The Board voted to enter into executive 
session to discuss collective bargaining. 



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Village Green 


At the February meeting, a public hearing 
was held on a Request for Determination 
of Applicability of wetlands regulations 
filed by Charles Joyce for property on 
175 County Rd., for installation of 
a pipe and creation of catch basin to 
redirect groundwater. Charles Joyce was 
present and stated that the work was to 
correct a situation in which runoff was 
passing onto a neighbor's property. The 
runoff is clean, from snow, ice melt and 
springs. Joyce said that he would install 
one pipe by drilling under the road, a task 
already done at the behest of Ed Lord, 
the highway superintendent, who had 
requested this be taken care of as soon as 
possible. Lord has inspected the drilled 
area and approved of it. 

The Commission had conducted a 
site visit and approved of the project. 
The commission found that the regula- 
tions did not apply, with the special 
condition that straw bales be used for 
sediment control. 

Keith Neil of 155 County Rd., a 
neighbor of Charles Joyce, was present 
and told the Commission he believes that 
the installation of the culvert will help, 
but not totally address the problem. He 
and Joyce requested that the Commission 
walk their properties again. 

Bruce Howden was present to dis- 
cuss installing a culvert in a brook on his 
property at 303 Rannapo Rd,, which will 
allow access to his farmlands and fields. The 
Commission determined that an agricul- 
tural exemption applied in this matter and 
did not require the submitting of a Request 

for Determination of Applicability. 

The possible violations on the 
property of Edward Ustico, on Polikoff 
Rd., were discussed at the February and 
March meetings. The Commission found 
that the cost of a wetlands delineation 
and floodplain study was $4,000 to 
5,000. Terri Eucker is leaving the area, 
and the Commission has not found a 
consultant as yet. 

Jared Clayton stated that invasive 
roses were widespread due to inadequate 
restoration of the property. He asked 
if action could at least be taken with 
the road area as that is unquestionably 
within the 100-foot buffer. He suggested 
that original mapping, done by Greylock 
Design and Associates, be referred to 
and it was agreed it could be used as a 
reference. At this point, Ed Ustico arrived 
and agreed to set up a time to walk the 
property with the Commission. 

In March, Bob Fournier of S.K. 
Design Group, was present for Judith 
Schnurr, who is requesting a Certificate 
of Compliance for property on Bow 
Wow and Cook Rd. He stated that the 
original project was repairing a leaking 
sluice gate in the Mill Pond dam. The 
Commission stated that it wished to 
make a site visit to the property prior to 
making a decision. 

June Wolfe and Lou Aragi were pres- 
ent. Aragi wished to clean out drains on 
agricultural property. Aragi and Wolfe 
believe that this project should fall under 
an agricultural exemption, but wanted 
to make the Commission aware of what 


Sheffield residents can recycle old oil 
paint, stains, paint thinners, turpentine 
and waste motor oil on Sat., May 1 9, 
from 9 to I lam, at the Lenox Dept of 
Public Works, 275 Main St. 

Latex paint is not accepted at this 
event. Empty or dried-up cans of latex 
or oil-based paint can be disposed 
with the regular trash. Usable paint 
can be given away through freecycle. 
org or some non-profits. 

To register, call the Center 
for Ecological Technology at 888- 
577-8448 ext_ 30 or 14, email aric. or visit 

they were intending to do. The Com- 
mission agreed that this project would 
be considered an agricultural exemption 
and would not require the submission of 
a Request for Determination of Applica- 
bility. It requested that Aragi submit his 
plan in writing, along with a map of the 
area so that it would be on record. 

Rene Wood was present to discuss a 
grant available through the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Transportation to restore 
railroad lines. The Berkshire Regional 
Planning Commission and Northwestern 
Connecticut Council of Governments 
are applying for the grant in the hopes of 
restoring lines of the Housatonic Rail- 
road, covering an area from Kent, CT, 
through Sheffield. The applicants are ask- 
ing that the Conservation Commissions 
of the towns involved provide letters of 
support for this project. Wood provided a 
draft letter of support and asked that the 
Commission approve it. The Commis- 
sion decided to approve the draft pending 
consultation with Nat Karns of the Berk- 
shire Regional Planning Commission. 


Yvonne Skiba, MBA, Accountant 

io Depot Street • P.O. Box 787 

Housatonic MA 01236 

ph 413 274-1110 

fax 423 274 1211 

Matthew Cartier 





Village Green 

PLANNING BOARD NEWS: January through April meetings 

The Planning Board has been very busy 
this year, meeting twice every month 
and three times in March. During this 
time, the principal effort of the Board 
and its Sign Bylaw Committee has 
been to draft a new sign bylaw to be 
proposed at the May Town Meeting. 
[The extensive revision, which clarified 
terminology and set a new method for 
measuring sign height, did pass.] 

The bylaw is posted on the town 
website (follow the link to Plan- 
ning Board to "Proposed Sign Bylaw 
Changes"). The Planning Board and 
the Bylaw Review Committee worked 
very hard to incorporate changes 
suggested by the Town Attorney, the 
Building Inspector and members of 
the public who participated in a public 
hearing on March 28 and April 11. 
As David Smith, Sr., explained at the 
March session, "The proposed bylaw 
is not perfect, but it will allow town 
businesses to function better than they 
can with the current bylaw. The bylaw 
can be improved each year. Many 

people worked hard on this, and the 
Bylaw Review Committee will con- 
tinue to exist and work on improving 
Sheffield bylaws." 

The Bylaw Review Committee 
members are Christopher Tomich, 
Chair, David A. Smith, Sr., Vice Chair, 
David Macy, Peter Cherneff, Tony 
Gulotta, Eric Carlson and James T. 
Collingwood, Jr. Members of the public 
who attended the hearing were David 
West, Chapin Fish (representing the 
Berkshire County Board of Realtors), 
John Wightman, Ted Pitman, Rene 
Wood, Susan Butler and Robert Butler. 

On Feb. 8, Chair David Smith, Sr., 
announced that the Board of Select- 
men appointed Maria Nation as a new 
Planning Board Member, filling the seat 
Tomich resigned from, Maria was run- 
ning unopposed for the seat in The town 
Election on May 14. 

On March 14, Martin and Rosa 
Brunnschweiler presented a Form A 
Application (approval not required 
before sudivision). They explained 

that while most of their farm on 
Boardman St. is going into an Agricul- 
tural Preservation Restriction, some 
property, including the house and 
barn, is being excluded. This applica- 
tion moves the boundary line to allow 
for a future well site. 

The Board signed the mylar of the 
plan and accepted the application. 
Kathy Orlando from the Sheffield 
Land Trust presented draft language 
for a "Proposed Addition to Bylaws" 
that was previously discussed with the 
Planning Board. She explained how it 
had come about after talking with the 
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The 
ZBA could not give the Brunnschwei- 
lers the dimensional variance needed 
to keep part of the farm with the 
Agricultural Preservation Restriction. 
The proposed addition to the bylaws 
would address such situations in the 
future through a Special Permit. [See 
the related story opposite.] 

— Nadia Milleron, 
Planning Board Secretary 


The Commission on Disabilities 
meets once a month at the Bush- 
nell-Sage Library. The next three 
meetings are on May 1 8, June 15 and 
July 20 at 3:30pm. Meetings are open 
to the public. 

Commission members are Laura 
Grunfeld, David Wells, Don Perry, 
Claudia Martin and Gail Mullen. 
Any Sheffield resident interested in 
joining or who needs information 
about services in South County for 
people with disabilities can contact 
Grunfeld at 229-2476 or laura@ 

Anyone who needs accommoda- 
tion at a Town event should contact 
Americans with Disabilities Act 
Coordinator Rhonda LaBombard 
at or 


Annual street lists (census). If you 

have not responded to your census, 

please do so as soon 

as possible. We have 

an extremely low 

response rate this year, 

which will become 

problematic for our 

town for various 

reasons. If you did not 

responded, the police 

department will be 

enlisted to come to your residence to 

confirm occupancy. 

Elections and voter registration. 
We have a full schedule of elections 
this year: 

Mon., May 14: Annual Town Election 

Thurs., Sept. 6: State Primary 

Tues., Nov. 6: State/Presidential Election 
Check your voter status! The deadline to 
register or change party status is 20 days 
before an election. All elections are held 
at the Senior Center on Cook Rd. 


Real Estate and Personal 
Property taxes were due on 
May I . If you forgot, give the 
Tax Collector's office a call at 

Dog licensing. Please remember 
that if you have a dog six months of 

age or older, or if you 
reside in Sheffield at 
least 30 days of the 
year, you are required 
to license your dog. 
The fees are $10 for 
intact dogs, $5 for 
spayed/neutered dogs. 
Licensing takes place 
annually from March 
1 to May 1. A fine of $25 per dog will 
be imposed after the deadline. 

If you have a new dog, it can be 
licensed anytime of year at the regular 
rate. With proof of rabies and spay/ 
neuter status, you can mail in your 
request for a license. Make checks 
payable to the Town of Sheffield, and 
mail to Town Clerk, P.O. Box 175, 
Sheffield MA 01257. Please include a 
self-addressed, stamped envelope. 

— Felecie Joyce, Town Clerk 


Organizations & Businesses 


R.J. Beham Forest Products in Ashley Falls started export- 
ing Sheffield logs to China last year. "I'd been sending logs 
to Canada for several years," says Bob Beham, a licensed 
forester and head of the company "The domestic market 
was depressed, and my log broker suggested China." 

Bob harvests timber from Sheffield and surrounding 
towns. "It mostly comes from private land in and around 
Sheffield," he says, "on properties from 10 acres to 300 
acres." The work is mostly done in winter and summer, 
avoiding spring, when the ground is soft. 

Pine, hemlock and spruce are what China, and lately 
Vietnam, have been buying, mainly for use in construction. 
Bob sends hardwoods to veneer mills closer to home, in 
New York and Vermont. He also still ships logs to mills in 
Canada and Connecticut. 

Before the logs are exported, they are debarked. Then they 
must pass inspection by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to make sure 
they aren't carrying any insects. Once okayed, the logs are loaded 
into the end of a shipping container, tamped in with a special ram- 
ming device and trucked to ports in New York or New Jersey 

The log yard of R.J. Beham Forest Products is where 
Gingras Lumber used to be. Bob started at Gingras in 
1978 and ran the company until 2005 with a partner. 

Bob Beham loads logs into a container bound for overseas. 

When the business dissolved, he started up his own. 

Part of Bob's business is to advise landowners on how to 
maintain healthy woods, which often includes selective harvest- 
ing of trees, and on Chapter 61 forest management, a Massa- 
chusetts state program that allows holders of at least 10 acres of 
managed forest to be taxed at forest, not development, rates, 

R.J. Beham Forest Products is located at 53 Clayton Rd., 
229-2182. The company also sells firewood, both cut and split 
or log-length pole wood. — Andrea Scott 


Since Sheffield was first settled in the 
1700s, farmers have prized the rich "bot- 
tom land" along the Housatonic River. 
Since it was founded in 1989, the Sheffield 
Land Trust has sought to conserve farms 
and wildlife habitat along the river. In May, 
the organization will help the Brunnsch- 
weiler and Aragi families protect River Lea 
Farm on Boardman St., south of Kellogg 
Rd. The farm is nearly 300 acres. 

Using the resource of the Massachu- 
setts Agricultural Preservation Restriction 
(APR) program, the Land Trust will 
purchase development rights on River Lea 
Farm from the Brunnschweilers. At the 
same time, the Aragi family of Pine Island 
Farm will purchase the protected farmland 
along with the farmhouse. The additional 
fields and cropland will help support 


Come and see the farm! The Land 
Trust's annual meeting and potluck 
lunch will be held under a tent at 
River Lea Farm.AII are welcome.The 
tentative date is Sat., June 30. Watch 
for more details closer to the date. 

Pine Island's dairy operation, the largest 
in Massachusetts. The farmhouse will be 
converted to a two-family residence, for 
use by farm workers. 

This is the 18 th APR that the Land 
Trust has worked on. Other farms in the 
Housatonic River Corridor that the Land 
Trust has helped families to protect include 
the Larkin Farm, the Corn Crib (now Tom 
Whalen's tree nursery), Balsam Hill Farm, 
Wolfe Spring Farm, the former Cavalier 
property that's now part of Pine Island 
Farm, the Egerton Farm and Howden 
Farm — more than 1,000 acres. The Land 
Trust is also currendy working to conserve 
farms, fields and forests in the northwest 
part of town and to create a trail network in 
the center of town. 

As part of completing any APR, the 

Cornfields on 
River Lea Farm, 
between Board- 
man St. and the 
Housatonic River. 

state requires what is known as the "local 
contribution." For the River Lea project, the 
Land Trust must raise $150,000 from indi- 
viduals, businesses and foundations toward 
the total $1 million cost. The remainder of 
the money then comes from the state. 

Even in the current real estate market, 
Sheffield continues to be a destination for 
second homes, and the open flat river land 
that has made River Lea Farm so valuable 
for farming also makes it valuable as home 
sites with a view. The APR program is a 
way to ensure that families get the value 
out of their land without having to give up 
its farming use. 

To make a donation or for more infor- 
mation contact the Land Trust at P.O. 
Box 940, Sheffield, MA 01257, 229-0234,, 


Organizations & Businesses 


Eradicate tetanus! Sheffield Kiwanis 
is kicking off its Project Eliminate with 
the sale of rubber wristbands that say 
"I saved a life for $1.80!" The project is 
a joint effort between Kiwanis Interna- 
tional and UNICEF to provide tetanus 
inoculations to women of child-bearing 
age in 36 countries around the world. 
The three initial shots cost $1.80, less 
than the price of a cup of coffee. 

In impoverished areas of the world, 
tetanus spores are transmitted through 
the soil; mothers and newborns are 
particularly vulnerable during child- 
birth. In fact, according to UNICEF, 
a newborn dies of tetanus every nine 

The wristbands will be for sale 
at Berkshire Styles Salon, Gulotta's 
Mobil, Shear Image and Silk's Variety. 
Area churches are being invited to 
partner with Kiwanis in Project Elimi- 
nate. Other organizations or individu- 
als who are interested in learning more 
can contact club coordinator Cynthia 
Pease at 

Successful food drive. The Kiwanis 
3rd Annual "Stuff a Bus" week, which 
concluded on April 21, was again a 
resounding success! Our thanks to all 
individuals and groups who donated 
the non-perishable food items. Truck- 
loads of these charitable contributions 
were delivered to the Sheffield Food 
Assistance Program and the People's 
Pantry in Great Barrington. Denise 
Rueger headed the project. We join 

with her in expressing our gratitude to 
all the members and other volunteers 
who manned the bus for the five days. 
We also appreciate Brian Palmer of 
Berkshire GMC offering us his parking 
lot and sheltering the bus overnight 
and the faithful crew from Radio 
WSBS, who were at the bus on April 
20 showing their support for the cause. 

Service day, Kiwanis International 
designated April 21, as "Kiwanis ONE 
Day," a time for local clubs to perform 
a hands-on service project in their local 
communities. For the Sheffield club, 
Pat and Gene Salvi created "Chips In 
Day," where teams of our members 
put fresh wood chips below the swings 
and slides at area playgrounds: three 
at Undermountain Elementary School 
in Sheffield, two at Muddy Brook 
Elementary and the Grove Street 
play area in Great Barrington, one at 
Housatonic School and one at French 
Park in Egremont. Later, Kiwanis 
volunteers also tidied the playgrounds 
at Monument Valley Middle School in 
Great Barrington and the New Marl- 
borough Central School. This project, 
incidentally, coincided with National 
Playground Safety Week. 

Trailer travels. The Kiwanis 
Refreshment Trailer is ready to meet 
its many seasonal commitments. Chair 
Debbie Wright noted that some of 
the Little League games at the Town 
Park will be covered from the shed 
kitchen this season. The trailer is 

already booked for several horse shows 
at French Park, and we have a date at 
Berkshire School's Alumni Day event 
on May 12. Debbie is busy scheduling 
work crews. 

Litter. The Kiwanis Club's seven 
months of litter patrol began on April 
19 with the roadside cleanup of two 
miles of Route 7 from Kellogg Rd. 
in Sheffield north to the National 
Grid station in Great Barrington. 
These Kiwanis crews will be out the 
third Thursday of every month from 
now through October. The project is 
headed again this year by Steve and 
JoAnn Shmulsky. 

Upcoming events. Kiwanis will 
share in the honoring of Al and Edi 
Trocchi over Memorial Day week- 
end — their son, Mark, plans several 
activities at the Boardman St. home 
where Kiwanis will provide catering 
services. On Sunday, May 27, the Mt. 
Everett High School Library will be 
re-named the Trocchi Family Library, 
in honor of their many years working 
in the school system. 

The Annual Kiwanis Golf Tourna- 
ment at the Egremont Country Club 
begins at noon on Friday, June 15. We 
are looking for players and sponsors to 
make this day a record success. Aidan 
Gilligan (a new member) at aidangil- and David Smith, Jr., 
at are co- 
chairs of the event and will provide any 
details requested. — Dick Goodwin 




MA LIC. #BU024769 / CT LIC. #353948 





PHONE: 413-229-8624 


Pamela Bloodworth 

Financial Advisor 

150 E. 52 nd Street 2125588820 

3 RD FLOOR 8002212869 

New York, NY 10022 212 750 6475 fax 
413 229 3530 by app't Fridays 




On Fri., May 11, at 7:30pm, the Historical Society will pres- 
ent a slide show and program at Dewey Hall entitled "Eye of 
Shawenon" about the early days of Egremont, Sheffield, Mount 
Washington and Alford. Author and local historian Gary 
Leveille will be the guest speaker. 

Leveille's recent book, also entitled Eye of Shawenon, is a 
history of North Egremont, Prospect Lake and the Green River 
Valley. Shawenon was a Mohican who negotiated the sale of 
tribal lands in this area in the 1700s, when both New York and 
Massachusetts Bay Colonies claimed the land that is now Egre- 
mont, Alford and Mount Washington. A virtual "no man's land," 
it was sparsely populated by Native Americans. Unincorporated 
land west of Sheffield was first sold by Mohicans to the Spoor 
family in the 1720s, but apparently nothing was official. Various 
members of the Spoor (Spurr) family were early settlers of 
Sheffield, Mount Washington and Egremont. 

Later, Jehoiakim Shawenon, a Stockbridge Mohican, helped 
negotiate a land deal in 1756, clearing the way for legal settle- 
ment west of Sheffield. The "eye" of Shawenon in the book's title 
refers to Egremont's Prospect Lake. 

Few realize that a major Indian trail meandered through 
the Upper Parish of Sheffield (now Great Barrington) or that 
a military road through the area — the Knox Trail — brought 
critical supplies to thousands of troops in the 18th and early 
19th century. Egremont was invaded by British troops from 
Hillsdale 10 years before the American Revolution. Colonel 
Knox marched through here with his artillery train in 1776 
and changed the course of U.S. history. 

Leveille is an avid local historian and researcher. He is 
a member of the Great Barrington Historical Commission 
and serves on the board of directors of the Great Barrington 
Historical Society. He is also the author of Around Great 
Barrington, a history of the town as told through vintage 
postcards, and the best-selling photo history entitled Old- 

Mother's Day Wildflowers Guided Walk 

Sun., May 13, I0am-I2noon. 

Join a ranger for a family-friendly stroll along gentle Cobble trails to 
view wild columbine and other native wildflowers. Learn what you 
can do to make better homes for native wild plants and butterflies/ 
wild animals in your own backyard and take home a packet of native 
wildflowers from Project Native. Please pre-register. Members: adult/ 
child $4, family $ 1 0. Nonmembers: adult/child $6, family $ 1 5. 

Canoe Trip 

Memorial Day, Mon., May 28, 9am- 1 2noon 

Join us for a guided canoe trip of one of the prettiest stretches along 
the Housatonic River. Paddles and life jackets are provided.The route 
is leisurely and beautiful, past the cows of Corbin's neck, the rocky 
limestone ledges of the Cobble, fields, the floodplain forests and 
the mouth of the Konkapot River. Members: adult $24; child (age 
10-16) $10. Nonmembers: adult $30; child (age 10-16) $15. Please 


Thursdays, 9am- 1 2noon. 

Help us monitor and care for Cobble trails and plant communities 
while learning valuable leadership skills.You can reserve a day or time 
for your community service group to help. Contact Conservation 
Ranger Rene Wendell for more information. Free. 

The Trustees of Reservations manage Bartholomew's Cobble, a National Natural 
Landmark, on Weatogue Rd. in Ashley Falls. It's open year-round, daily, sunrise 
to sunset. The Visitor's Center is open from 9am-4pm Tuesday-Saturday during 
winter. Regular admission is free for members of The Trustees of Reservations 
and Sheffield Non-members: $5 adult, $1 child. Call 229-8600 or email 

Route 7 — Along The Berkshire Highway. 

Upcoming events. The Society has a golf tournament 
fundraiser on June 8. Our Annual Meeting and Ice Cream 
Social is on June 15 at 7:30 in Dewey Hall. The summer 
garden party will take place on July 15 from 3 to 6pm at 
Netherby Hall in Sheffield. 

For more information, call 229-2694 or visit the Society's 
web site at — Barbara Dowling 


Sheffield American Legion Post 340 is 
sending eight juniors from Mount Ever- 
ett High School to Boys and Girls State 
in June. The programs, sponsored by the 
Massachusetts American Legion and 
American Legion Auxiliary, are held at 
Stone Hill College in Easton, MA. The 
trips are made possible with the finan- 
cial assistance of the Sheffield Kiwanis, 
Salisbury Bank, Our Lady of the Valley 
Church, the Thursday Morning Club 
and the Boys/ Girls State Foundation. 
Boys and Girls State is a week-long 
event aimed at giving students real 
experience in how government and 
democracy work. It's part of the Legions 

continuing efforts to support and 
strengthen democratic values and citizen 
involvement. Students are selected based 
on their achievement and leadership 
qualities in the classroom, the commu- 
nity and on the playing field. 

For a week, the students become 
"citizens" of "towns" where they are asked 
to consider various issues and devise 
solutions. Over the week, they convene 
party conventions, create platforms and 
nominate statewide candidates. The 
week culminates in a candidates' forum, 
where each party presents its platform 
and candidates debate the issues before 
elections are held. A governor, lieutenant 

governor and two senators are chosen. 
Courses given during the program 
cover government, law and the economy, 
along with mini-courses in current 
topics. Sessions in recent years have 
included society and the media, the col- 
lege application process and today's law 

The program is held on a college 
campus to give the students a taste of 
college life. Students stay in dorms and 
attend meetings in the class rooms. Tliere 
are organized athletic activities for those 
who wish to participate, but students can 
also use the time to relax, socialize and 
meet peers from around state. 




20 Structure fire at 6 1 6 Sheffield 
Plain Rd. 

26 Mutual aid with New Marlbor- 
ough Fire DepL for structure 

28 Automobile accident at 
Route7/Kellogg Rd. 

28 Berkshire School fire alarm: 
Egremont responded while 
covering for Sheffield. 


I Chimney fire at 1161 Home 

Mutual aid with Great 
Barrington Fire Dept for 
structure fire. 

Mutual aid with Lakeville, CT, 
Fire DepL for brush fire 
Berkshire School fire alarm. 
Berkshire School fire alarm. 
Barn fire at 79 Pike Rd. 
Car fire on Route 7. 
Brush fire on Giberson Rd. 
CO detector alarm at 25 
Cross Rd. 








Brush fire at 202 Hillside Lane. 
False alarm at the Market 

Mutual aid with Great Bar- 
rington Fire DepL at 2 1 
Division Sl 
Mutual aid with Great 
Barrington Fire DepL for 
structure fire on Rl 7 1 . 

Cubs cross over. 

Nicholas LeGeyt and 
Nikos Casivant from Den 
4 of Sheffield's Cub Scout 
Pack 28, crossed over to 
Boy Scout Troop 1028 in 
February. The Den wishes 
them the best. On to Eagle! 

Boys in sixth grade to 
18 years who would like to 
join the Boy Scouts: we meet 
at the American Legion 
Hall on Rt. 7 Wednesday 
evenings at 7pm. 

— Olympia Casivant 



I Gregg S. Massini to Christopher A. & Diana W.Williams, property at Clayton Rd., $300,000. 

29 Barry Emberlin to Greg-Cal Real Estate Trust, property at 599 S. Main SL.Transfer. 


1 6 Clifford F. Moger & Barry A. Minske to John H. & Katherine E. Stookey, Trustees of The Katherine E. 

Stookey & John H. Stookey Revocable Trusts, property at 946 Silver Street, $525,000. 
27 OleksandrV.&Tetyana I.Chemysh to Victor J. Zucco, property at 217 Bunce Rd., $297,000. 



Thomas P. & Elizabeth B.G. Marino to Stephen Leining.Trustee of Middle Road Nominee Trust, property 
at 1 885 & 1 889 North Main St., $270,000. 

I xpcct the (Unexpected. 

(_.ontemporaru /American /\rt | ottem 
for tJome, the (jarden and the | able... 

Our Big Holiday 
Sale Is on ! ! ! 

Order Online at 

Toil-Free 888.774-2529 

(J5 Route 7 North Main 5t. 5heffield MA 012^7 
415 119-7700 x!4 


Calendar Page 


1 1 History Society lecture (p. 25) 



18 Bulky waste collection (also May 19 and 20; p. 16) 

19 Shred-It Day (p. 19) 

1 9 Paint and oil recycling (p. 2 1 ) 

19 Ham dinner (p. 14) 

22 Summer Solstice Celebration (p. 5) 
26 Poetry read-around (p. 1 2) 

26 Contra dance (p. 5) 

28 MEMORIAL DAY (observed) 

27 Early American song concert (p. 9) 


2 Dewey Hall Folk concert (p. 5) 

8 Historical Society golf fundraiser (p. 25) 

16 Forestry talk (p. 9) 


1 4 Choral Festival season opens (p. 5) 

15 Historical Society ice cream social (p. 25) 

/ 5 Deadline for the JULYI AUGUST Sheffield Times 


23 Contra dance (p. 5) 

23 Poetry read-around (p. 1 2) 

30 History talk (p. 9) 

30 Land Trust annual meeting (p. 23) 


1 5 Historical Society garden party (p. 25) 

See also the listings for Music & More (p. 1 0), Senior Center (p. 15), 
Kiwanis (p. 24) and Bartholomew's Cobble (p. 25) 

Buy local, read local! 
Please contribute! 


Meetings or events that occur less than weekly are noted with a week 
number- i.e. "1 st , 3 rd " indicates meetings are on the first and third times that 
day occurs in the month. * indicates appointment needed. 

Meals on Wheels, Mon-Fri, except holidays 

Building Inspector, Town Hall, 7am-1pm 

Board of Selectmen, Town Hall, 7pm, 1 s ', 3 rd 

Conservation Commission, Town Hall, 7pm, 2 nd , 4 th 

Board of Health, Town Hall, 7pm, 2 nd 

Food Assistance Program, Old Parish Church, 9-1 0:30am 

*Foot care clinic, Senior Center, 1 s ' 

Building Inspector, 7am-1pm 

Ashley Falls Historic District Commission, Town Hall, 6:30pm, 2 nd 

Senior Center physical fitness, 9am 

Children's Story Hour, Library, 10am 

Senior Center "Lawn Chair Movie," 11:30am 

Kiwanis Club, The Bridge Restaurant, 6:30pm 

Senior Center Knitting Group, 3pm, 1 s ' 

Planning Board, Town Hall, 7pm, 2 nd , 4 lh (4 th only for summer) 

Building Inspector, Thurs. 11am-6pm 

Senior Center physical fitness, 9am 

Third Thursday Luncheon, Senior Center, noon 

* Hearing Testing available, Senior Center, 3 rd 

Breaking Bread Kitchen, Amerlican Legion Hall, 5pm 

Building Inspector, 11am-4pm 

Council on Aging, 9:30am, as needed 

Commission on Disabilities, Library, 3:30pm 3 rd 

Dewey Hall Folk Music Series, 8pm, 1 s ' 

Senior Center Knitting Group, 11am, 3 rd 

Men's Group, Old Parish, 7:45am, 2 nd 


Yes, I want to support the Sheffield Times! 

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made payable to the Sheffield Association, P.O. Box 1339, Sheffield, MA 01 257 





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(where you would like issues mailed to you) 


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to everyone who makes a donation unless you tell us otherwise. Please check here if you do not want issues mailed to you: □ 
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Community Newsletter for 

Sheffield & Ashley Falls, MA 

P.O. Box 1339 

Sheffield, MA 01257 





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